Stress and ways to deal with it –
We all have stress in our lives at different stages and learning a good coping mechanism is essential to our happiness.
Without a doubt I have found practising yoga to be of great benefit at times of stress.
While the asanas (yoga poses) can help it’s pranayama (breath control) that I find is of most benefit in elevating stress and calming the mind.
Here’s a description of a very simple but effective breathing technique know as “The Calming Breath”.
Begin by sitting in a comfortable position that you can hold for several minutes, such as Sukasana. Close your eyes and observe your breath. Don’t try to control it but simply watch the inhalation and exhalation. You may find that observing your breath causes it to become slower and deeper. Now begin to lengthen your inhalation by bringing the breath deeper into your belly and slow the exhalation, breathing through the nostrils at all times.
Next visualise your breath starting down at the Muladhara or base chakra (pelvic floor area). As your inhaling draw the breath up through the body, along the central line, to the Ajna chakra or 3rd eye. As your exhaling visualise the breath moving back down the body to the base chakra. Introduce a count of 4,5, or 6 for the inhale and exhale. Practise several rounds of this.
Return to your normal breath. Keeping your eyes closed observe how your are feeling.
I always feel calmer and more centered after a few minutes of this simple breathing technique.